State Advocates

Volunteer State Advocates coordinate outreach, build alliances and provide
education and training in their states. Your State Advocate is your first
line of contact if you want to get involved, volunteer, schedule a training
or find out about Leave No Trace events locally. Find your State Advocate
below.

Alabama

Skip Essman
Montgomery

As advocate for the "Heart of Dixie" state, I have worked with over a 100 Trainers and Master Educators, and enjoy hosting all types of training. We have spoken with scouts, scouters, hiking groups and with state parks to start Leave No Trace programs. I have hosted trainings for the Appalachian Trail Club of Alabama, the Alabama Hiking Trail Society and the Traveling Trainers at Coleman in Foley. I helped arrange for Master Instructors to teach Leave No Trace at the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition Conference held at Table Rock State Park in 2005. I hope to make the most impact in Alabama by constantly talking to high-level government officials here in Montgomery.

Alaska

Heather Hill
Fairbanks

My name is Heather Hill, and I grew up in a rural area of upstate New York. I’ve always been interested in the outdoors and recreation since a young age. I was active in many sports throughout my high school and collegiate careers, as well as loved to spend as much time outside as possible. I was introduced to caring about the environment at a young age through my father. He brought me a long to help with a local wetlands area clean up and restoration effort. I was saddened to see the level of destruction and disrespect to the area. From then on my love and passion grew for keeping the environment and the places we love as pristine as possible.
I have my Bachelors of Arts from the State University of New York at Potsdam with degrees in Archaeology, Anthropology, Technical Theatre and Design, and Wilderness Education. The preservation of historic sites and areas hold a special place in my heart from my years in archaeology. During my undergraduate career I joined the Wilderness Education program where I was introduced to LNT for the first time, despite doing many of the principles previously. I loved learning about the ethics and the different ways we could reach others to teach and educate. I’ve worked with a variety of companies and places that promote LNT; from Boy Scouts of America troops, colleges and universities, to working with adjudicated youth in wilderness settings (in which I have over 650 field days). In 2013 I completed my Masters of Arts in Outdoor and Environmental Education from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Leisure studies from the State University of New York at Cortland. This next step of education helped to refine many of my skills and knowledge to continue to educate and instruct others about the out of doors.
In 2013 I moved to the state of Alaska to see find new opportunities and adventures for myself. I worked for Alaska State Parks Northern Region for a summer and got my first real taste of Alaska and loved it. Through working for ASP I also got to see the damage caused throughout the parks and other areas from over use or the uninformed public. I am currently work for DHS and volunteer some of my free time at the Bureau of Land Management with their archaeology department. In my free time I enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, animal identification, walking/running, fishing, primitive skills (bow drilling, traps, cordage making, etc.) plant identification, cooking, backpacking, camping, gardening, training my dog for duck hunting and other dog related adventures, as well as I am learning to hunt and am interested in trying curling. I am very excited and prepared to help share my knowledge and skills with others, in addition to learning from them as well. LNT is and always will be a needed set of skills and ethics for all people to carry and use throughout our lives. Alaska holds a unique variety of environments and ecosystems, land use, people, animals and weather. I cannot wait to help build a stronger LNT foundation for locals and visitors alike. We are the guardians for the future of all our outdoor areas both in wilderness and the front country.

Arizona

Cindy Reilly
Tucson

Hello from Tucson, Arizona!
I first got involved with Leave No Trace while attending a Leave No Trace Trainer course in 2001 at Shadow Rim Ranch Girl Scout Camp, near Payson, AZ. I became a Master Educator in 2004 through a Girl Scout scholarship. Since Girl Scouts gave me Leave No Trace, I wanted to return the gesture through training and workshops. Now, I am the Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate for the BSA Catalina Council, extensively involved with Boy Scouts and working tirelessly to promote Leave No Trace.
My goal is to increase Leave No Trace awareness in Arizona. I hope to assist and coordinate with Trainers and Master Educators to make Leave No Trace accessible to the people of Arizona. I hope to foster communication among them and help facilitate training as much as possible. I will make myself available as much as possible to work with various organizations and potential partners in getting the information disseminated. I encourage Trainers and Master Educators to continue to reach out and provide workshops and training to various groups and organizations, so the public can minimize their impacts on our outdoor environment.

"But now", says the Once-ler, "now that you´re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Dr Seuss

Arkansas

Rob Stephens
Little Rock

Rob was born in Little Rock and graduated from Catholic High School for Boys and from Rhodes College at Memphis. He is the CFO of Pharmacy Management Services, which specializes in institutional and hospital pharmacy management. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the Arkansas River Trail Task Force. Rob volunteers as a Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics master educator and also serve as the Arkansas state advocate. He serves on the board of the Arkansas Climbers Coalition as treasurer. He is an Eagle Scout and volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America in which I have served in capacities including scoutmaster, trainer for climbing and camping outdoor skills and in 2012 received the William T. Hornaday Award. His wife Phoebe and he have two sons who live in Colorado.

California

Bob Hazelton
Redlands

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Colorado

Kristen Sherwood Kubina
Colorado Springs

Growing up in the transitional plains-to-peaks environment of Colorado's central Front Range, I developed a love of the land and all its processes by spending most of my young years outside, devouring the literary works of environmentalists such as Aldo Leopold, Rick Bass and Ed Abbey, and road-tripping to every corner of the state with my dogs in tow. I returned to school at at 25 to pursue a degree in Natural Resources. After working as a cave guide, a naturalist, and a Colorado State Park Ranger for several years, I began teaching ecologically-based courses at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Currently, I am the Department Chair for the Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Technology degree program at PPCC, and I am relishing passing on the land ethic to my diverse body of students. I live at 10,300 feet at the foot of Pikes Peak in an off-grid home, where I am teaching my two beautiful kids what it means to use and love the land simultaneously. I have been incorporating Leave No Trace into nearly every aspect of my life for over 15 years, and I am excited to be able to share the principles with a broader audience throughout our amazing state. I am always available to share information, education, activities and resources -- please email or call and let me help you facilitate Leave No Trace education with your friends, family and organizations!

Colorado

Kristen Sherwood Kubina
Cripple Creek

Growing up in the transitional plains-to-peaks environment of Colorado's central Front Range, I developed a love of the land and all its processes by spending most of my young years outside, devouring the literary works of environmentalists such as Aldo Leopold, Rick Bass and Ed Abbey, and road-tripping to every corner of the state with my dogs in tow. I returned to school at at 25 to pursue a degree in Natural Resources. After working as a cave guide, a naturalist, and a Colorado State Park Ranger for several years, I began teaching ecologically-based courses at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Currently, I am the Department Chair for the Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Technology degree program at PPCC, and I am relishing passing on the land ethic to my diverse body of students. I live at 10,300 feet at the foot of Pikes Peak in an off-grid home, where I am teaching my two beautiful kids what it means to use and love the land simultaneously. I have been incorporating Leave No Trace into nearly every aspect of my life for over 15 years, and I am excited to be able to share the principles with a broader audience throughout our amazing state. I am always available to share information, education, activities and resources -- please email or call and let me help you facilitate Leave No Trace education with your friends, family and organizations!

Florida

Wes Stepherson
Pensacola

The southeast of America is where I was raised and where I chose to raise my six children, and still continue to live. I never tire of the beautiful pines, the live oaks, the endless creeks and streams, and the breathtaking beaches of the Gulf Coast. While scouting was not available to me as a young man, all five of my sons are Eagle Scouts and are lovers of nature and the outdoors. We have our own flotilla of canoes and kayaks that we use for family trips, scouts trips, and with anyone we can persuade to go with us. We cycle through the forests, sail along the coast, and fish the waters in our area.

As a scoutmaster I love to introduce the scouts to the adventures of the outdoors and help them learn to be stewards of the world where we live. One of my favorite events is taking scouts to camp on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. The stars at night and the sunrise in the morning are simply beautiful. This is one of the places that instills the need for the Leave No Trace Principles.

I discovered Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire in a bookmobile when I was a boy and his passion for preserving and enjoying the outdoors has been a permanent part of my life. After becoming a Leave No Trace Trainer with the BSA, I enrolled in a NOLS course in Escalante, Utah, where Larry Glickman and Haven Holsapple demonstrated Leave No Trace in action and left an indelible image committed outdoor educators. I have conducted many Trainer Classes and Awareness workshops throughout my area. My work with scouting has brought me into close contact with city recreation managers, state wildlife officers, University Outdoor educators and staff.

Being an engineer in Industry helps me be aware of the need for the balance of nature and technology. It is wonderful to be a part of an organization that promotes not only the protection and preservation of the outdoors, but the enjoyment of the world we live in and depend on. Please contact me for any help that I can offer personally, or that I can facilitate with others.

Georgia

Jay Dement
Kennesaw

There are many external and internal threats to our public lands whose aggregate impacts threaten the pristine natural environments. The seven principles of the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics guide us to preserve the natural beauty of our back country and to help insure the protection so many can enjoy these wonders for generations to come.

We have been extremely fortunate that our fore fathers saw the importance of protecting the environment and established protected areas such through legislation as National Parks and the Wilderness Act. Consider that these natural resources are our country’s most valuable asset and their protection becomes paramount.

With backcountry visitation increasing every year people need to be educated on how their behavior directly affects the viability of the resources they came to enjoy. Visitors need to become responsible for their actions so they don’t leave things in ruin. We see, through education comes understanding that leads to protection. Who can argue against these principles?

The Leave No Trace ethics are a decision making process on how we can minimize our impact on the environment whether it is the back country, frontcountry walking down the street or at home. Most of the principles are basic common sense and with some, people need a better understanding of their total impact and how to minimize their influence.

Hawaii

Eric Fulks
Captain Cook

Aloha Everyone-
I was born and raised in Richmond VA, and have lived many other places on the planet. My journey has led me here to Hawaii where I spend my time caretaking land. I am an experienced builder whose passion is in teamwork and alternative designs. I love Adventure and feel of purpose when there is a problem to find solutions for.
Hawaii is a great place to embody Leave No Trace and it is where I want to live upon the Earth. A state of Aloha. Everything from eating home grown organics to living a minimum carbon footprint. Living light means living free. With more free time, means more doing things that I love doing. Like hiking waterfalls or dodging lava flows....
In 2014 I helped co-found an educational business known as The Artizen School (artizenschool.com) where people can experience team building by stewarding the planet we live on responsibly together, This includes...Leave No Trace.
My hobbies include: slacklining, meditation, dancing, and spending time with my girlfriend.
The vision of a planet united in love and peace is what drives my intentions.

Idaho

Erik Lund
Boise

I began backpacking as a youth in 1971 and have never lost my appreciation for the wilderness. Some of the things I like: The smell of the pine and the crunch of decomposing granite on the mountain trail. Incredible wide open vistas and brilliant geologic colors of desert canyons. The surprise discovery of prehistoric petroglyphs on basalt boulders. The smell of sage after a hard rain in the desert. The late night yipping contest of coyotes. The long haunting howl of a wolf. The piercing bugle of a bull elk. The quiet of a snow covered campsite.

The balance between a comfortable camp and a comfortable hike has tipped towards the latter as I have gone to ultra light, reducing my pack weight from 46 to 28 lbs. I have become accustomed to sleeping in a tent hammock and cooking over an alcohol stove.

My involvement with Leave No Trace began with a Trainer course through the Ore-Ida Boy Scout Council in Boise, followed by the Master Educator course at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I enjoy sharing the message with youth and adults at all levels, trailside moments, awareness sessions, and both Trainer and ME courses. Practical how-to tips are always a part of my presentations. Most gratifying is seeing informed outdoor enthusiasts struggle to make the right choices based on competing principles.

My goal as state advocate is to assess the level of desired involvement by Trainers and ME's and to help them achieve it, create educational opportunities, work with Idaho land managers on Leave No Trace issues and be a resource to bring outdoor ethics education to Idaho.

Indiana

Douglas Wagoner
Lanesville

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Kansas

Mike Schmitt
Spring Hill

Living in Kansas all of my life I have seen a lot of change and in that change I have seen a lot of opportunity and in that opportunity I have also seen neglect. I have actively stepped forward to be your Kansas State Advocate in hopes to make a positive influence on the youth of today that that will be the leaders of tomorrow. I have always been active in the great outdoors as a kid and as an adult I find myself camping at least every month with either the Boy Scout troop or Venturing Crew I am a part of. My two boys that are involved in Scouts, the youngest is a Life scout working on his Eagle and the oldest which has already earned his Eagle. Being involved as much as I am has been my driving force to help make a difference on how we handle ourselves while front country and back country camping.

Being introduced to caring about the environment at a young age, my grandfather would take my brother and me fishing and was careful to never leave an impact for the next person. Continuing this type of ethical belief every time I camped and hunted was in a way practicing Leave No Trace and it was not until 2014 when I received my Leave No Trace Trainer and in 2015 my Leave no Trace Master Educator training did it all come together. I am very involved in both Boy Scouts and Venturing always looking for teachable moments. I enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, geocaching and photography, well anything that gets me outdoors. Currently I serve as the Outdoor Ethics Advocate for the Heart of America Council for BSA and find the group of trainers in our council to be great people to work with and look forward to our program growing.

I am very excited and prepared to help share my knowledge and skills with others, in addition to learning from them as well. Leave No Trace is and always will be a needed set of skills and ethics for all people to carry and use throughout our lives. I am glad to be your State Advocate for Kansas and look forward and answering questions or working with you in the future to make the difference. So please send me your questions along with any comments and concerns.

Kentucky

Lisa Deavers
Franklin

I feel fortunate to serve at the LNT State Advocate for Kentucky. I have always loved the outdoors and as the LNT State Advocate and an employee of Kentucky State Parks, I hope to spread the word across the Commonwealth. I work with state and federal agencies, non-profit, professional organizations, school groups and scout troops to share the principles of LNT. All of our State Parks teach LNT in programs and hikes, helping introduce guests and visitors to the 7 principles. The LNT principles are part of my life, both personally (on our farm and in my outdoor activities of hiking and kayaking) and professionally. I love introducing people of all ages to the great outdoors and to the principles of LNT and am glad to be part of such a wonderful organization. I have a great partnership with KY Adventure Tourism to provide backpack tags for LNT events and programs. If you need any, please contact me (The photo is of me and the "bag man" who represents one year of plastic bags for the average family)

Maine

Samantha White
Portland

I grew up in a small town in Iowa, where I was largely unaware of the joys of playing in the woods. It wasn’t until college that I slept my first night in a tent. I was immediately hooked and would spend the next decade making up for lost time. In order to develop stronger navigation and outdoor living skills, I did the NOLS Wilderness Rescue Semester where I was introduced to Leave No Trace. As part of the program, I became a Master Educator and have since dedicated myself to spreading an awareness and understanding of our role as stewards of the planet.

Since moving to Maine in the summer of 2013 in order to pursue a career in outdoor education, I have spent my free time hiking, paddling, and climbing in our wild spaces and encouraging others to do the same. As the program manager at Rippleffect in Portland, I teach Maine youth how to safely and sustainably explore the natural world while adhering to LNT ethics. As the Maine State Advocate, I am excited to connect with Master Educators across the state, grow LNT awareness in Maine, and work together to help strengthen our communities and their appreciation for the outdoors. Let’s connect and create positive change in the world!

Maryland

Paul Schimke
Gaithersburg

Hello, and thank you for checking out how you can get involved in Leave No Trace in Maryland and DC. As the LNT Center's Maryland State Advocate, I'm here to represent the Center to you, and I'm here to represent your needs to the Center. As an active LNT Master I've built relationships with many interested individuals and organizations. I'm looking forward to getting to know even more people as State Advocate.
As much as I love my time out in the backcountry, far away from everyone, I'm particularly excited by the Leave No Trace Frontcountry and Leave No Trace in Every Park initiatives. Most of us in Maryland and DC live in developed areas, and these programs are focused right where most of us can have the most impact.
I have two principal goals as the Maryland State Advocate. First, I want to encourage more people and organizations to both learn about and share the Leave No Trace message. Second, I want to hear from the people who are sharing that message (you!) to learn what the Center can do to help you to be more effective.
If you are interested in learning more about how Leave No Trace can help you do your part to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly, I'm here to help you.
If you're teaching others about Leave No Trace and you could use some help or pointers, or have feedback to give the Center, I'm here to help you. I'll do all I can to help you to find the resources you need.
Please do contact me! I’m truly looking forward to hearing from you.

Massachusetts

Jessica Harwood
Easthampton

I am pleased to be able to combine my passion for the outdoors with my commitment to sustainability and environmental education as a State Advocate. I became a Master Educator in 2010. Professionally, I have worked as an environmental educator and trainer; trail builder; and classroom teacher. These have all been important ways to practice and teach Leave No Trace Ethics. Currently, I am a 6th grade teacher in rural western Massachusetts.

I spend as much time as I can hiking, trail running, kayaking, and exploring the beautiful natural resources of our great state of Massachusetts. I am proud to live in a state with so much conserved land.

Let me know if I can help coordinate or teach a Leave No Trace event in your neck of the woods!

Minnesota

Rita Hussman
South Sr. Paul

Greetings from Rita Hussman, the Minnesota State Advocate. I could not be more honored to say that we have been selected as one of three states to pilot a chapter program for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. By “we,” I mean the absolutely awesome group of volunteers, most of whom are Leave No Trace Master Educators, that have collectively made great strides in spreading the Leave No Trace message in our fabulous state.
Outdoor recreation is HUGE in Minnesota. We are very proud of our natural resources. At the top of the list, of course, is the water – after all we are the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” and that number only counts the big lakes! The headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area just might be our greatest claims to water fame, but we also have a total of five National Park Service units to add to our list of incredible outdoor assets! There is no question about how wonderful Minnesota is!
Impact-wise, there is always room for improvement. No one gets into the BWCA without Leave No Trace Education, and there are several Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Educators on staff with the state department of natural resources as well as the National Park Service. We are also fortunate to work with multiple partners and supportive agencies throughout the state. Growing these partnerships and educating more folks about Leave No Trace is what motivates our Minnesota Chapter volunteers to forge forward. We are always seeking new opportunities to bring Leave No Trace to every Minnesotan in every outdoor recreation place. If you would like to join the Leave No Trace movement or want to request our help with your own efforts, please contact me or any one of us listed on this page.

Nevada

Jessica Snaman
Winnemucca

Winnemucca, Nevada

I was born in Kansas, but grew up on the east coast right outside of Washington, DC.  My love for the mountains took me to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina where I majored in Elementary Education and spent a lot of time exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I first came out to the great state of Nevada in 2009 as an AmeriCorps naturalist with Nevada Outdoor School (NOS). After my year of service, I moved back east and taught 5th grade. However, the beauty, adventurous spirit and vastness of the west soon brought me back to Nevada where I have been working on staff at Nevada Outdoor School since 2012. Nevada Outdoor School’s mission is to inspire exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community. As a LNT Master Educator at NOS I have the pleasure of traveling around the state and spreading the message of responsible recreation through outdoor ethics education. I am happy to continue this work as the Nevada State Advocate and look forward to all the new experiences to come!

New Hampshire

Lewis Shelley
Walpole

I first learned the benefits of outdoor adventure in 1971 on a 375-mile canoe trip in northern Quebec when I was thirteen, a trip I would like to repeat some day. Looking back, it was not the best example of Leave No Trace! I've been involved with outdoor education and programming since 1974 when I created an outdoor adventure program for my high school. I'm a NOLS and Outward Bound alum and still work with a NOLS Alumni trip each summer. I've worked with several outdoor programs in the northeast, lastly with the Student Conservation Association (SCA). After starting as a crew leader in 1991, I led crews until 1997 from Vermont to Alaska. I held a variety of positions from 1998 to 2014 first as Eastern Operations Director and finally in the Education, Training, and Evaluation Dept. I am now the owner/operator of SnowHawk LLC, a trail design, construction, and woodworking business that is focused primarily on trail projects in the northeast and occasionally in the west and beyond. I also instruct trail skills trainings throughout the U.S.

I am a Wilderness First Responder, former ACA canoe instructor, and of course a Leave No Trace Master Educator. I work closely with several conservation and environmental organizations. Locally, I serve on several Boards including the Walpole Conservation Commission and the Board of Directors for the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club. I built an uber-efficient timber frame home and continue to find reasons to work with carpentry tools. A self proclaimed ‘fun hog’, I am often found hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing, and especially most any form of skiing.

I am passionate about the Leave No Trace mission and hope to share that with individuals and groups of all kinds in NH and the New England area. My work with SCA allows me to take the message to other parts of the country. And even though I'm an eighth generation native, I continue to learn more about NH through seeking out those that are interested in Leave No Trace here in my home state.

Leave No Trace should be a part of every outdoor activity whether traveling deep in the backcountry, cruising the frontcountry, or exploring urban environments. I hope to teach people about the transference of Leave No Trace into their daily lives at home and at work. As State Advocate, I am always available as a resource for help with Leave No Trace education and events. I hope to provide opportunities for volunteers and LNT master Educators and Trainers so that they can continue their work as well. I look forward to serving you and working together on Leave No Trace projects.

New Mexico

Mike Bilbo
Fort Stanton

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New York

Art Woodard
Wantagh

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North Carolina

Meredith Blackwood
Raleigh

I am excited to represent The Center as the NC Sate Advocate! From the mountains to the coast, this state has so much to offer outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. My desire to take on this position stems from my love of this state and wanting to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

My first introduction to Leave No Trace was upon the introduction in 2010 of the youth LNT Trainer leadership position within the Boy Scouts of America. I quickly realized that our youth would need more avenues to get the required training for this position, so I completed my ME course in May of 2011. Becoming an ME, in turn, led me on my next adventure in becoming the first Outdoor Ethics Advocate within the Occoneechee Council, and thus creating the council’s outdoor ethics education program. Since then, I have taught numerous trainer courses and workshops to youth and adults from across the state, both inside and outside of scouting.

My aim as the State Advocate is to be a guide for the states Master Educators, Trainers and public and private organizations in an effort to ensure that the LNT message resonates throughout this beautiful state. I believe that teaching our youth, both inside and outside of scouting, is the best way to promote outdoor ethics as they are major influencers of their peers and the adults who associate with them. I would love to see more LNT outreach, trainings, and workshops being held throughout the state by our ME’s and trainers, so let’s work as a team to get the word out! I encourage anyone or any organization looking to explore or expand their interest in outdoor ethics, environmental stewardship and/or responsible outdoor recreation to reach out to me.

“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching – even when doing the wrong thing in legal” – Aldo Leopold

Ohio

Jorene Burgess
Eaton

​Jorene Burgess, of Eaton, OH, attended her Master Educator course over her 40th birthday with about a dozen total strangers.....and she hasn't stopped moving since! While she admits that her life-style would not be considered "high-adventure", there are very few outdoor activities that she is afraid to try at least once! Being raised on a farm, she grew up outdoors by circumstance, but now makes the choice to spend as much time in natural settings as time will allow. Being the mother of two sons, an avid geocacher, and a volunteer for ODNR, BSA, Five Rivers Metropark, 4H, and her local church, she is happy to share values toward responsible and respectful land stewardship with her children and her fellow humans. Being "farm-bred" (as she likes to call herself), she has a deep respect for the natural world and a strong desire to educate others, especially youth, about the PRIVILEGE of enjoying outdoor activities. The time outside she enjoyed as a youth, and the new skills she has acquired through Leave No Trace and her involvement in the BSA, are fueling her talent for teaching others, and she feels very blessed for the opportunity to share principles for outdoor ethics to "anyone that will listen"!

Oklahoma

Joe Ready
Edmond

Joe Ready is a lifelong Oklahoma resident who graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma, with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Community Recreation and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Adult Education. Joe has worked in the recreation field for 6 years, and runs the University of Central Oklahoma Outdoor Adventure Recreation Center. In 2011 he completed a National Outdoor Leadership school, Outdoor Educator course where he was introduced to LNT. In 2012 Joe received his LNT Master Educator. Since then he has lead multiple backpacking and hiking trips, as well attained both an ACA Level 2 kayak and Level 2 Canoe instructor certification with an adaptive paddling endorsement.
Let me know if you need anything else!

Pennsylvania

Marian Orlousky
Shippensburg

I’m a Pennsylvania native, born and raised in Boiling Springs PA. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of exploring the Yellow Breeches Creek and forest behind my house until the summer sun went down and the cicadas began to sing. I’ve been captivated by the beauty and complexity of our natural world for as long as I can remember, and that has translated into a passion for connecting others to their environment. I believe you have to first experience and understand nature before you can learn to appreciate and protect it.
I attended Juniata College in PA, where I received a B.S. in Biology. I then served as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) seasonal Natural Resource Technician at Valley Forge National Historical Park, during which time I decided I wanted a career in managing and protecting our ever dwindling natural areas. I went on to receive a Master’s in Ecology from the State University of New York - School of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and I now work for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in Boiling Springs, PA (of all places) as a Natural Resource Manager for the northern half of the Appalachian Trail.
I enjoy nearly every type of outdoor recreation (shy of base jumping), with my favorites being caving, hiking, and skiing. I fell in love with the practice of Leave No Trace when I first took my Master Educator course in 2014, and have been working to incorporate Leave No Trace principles into everything we do here at the ATC. As the Leave No Trace PA Advocate I hope to foster the same love and respect for nature that came to me as a young child and continues to develop with me though every stage of my life. I look forward to working with you!

South Dakota

Tracy Sigdestad
Lead

Although I was raised in the city, I have been a nature girl at heart and was lucky to have parents who liked to travel. Having a childhood filled with hiking and camping experiences, instilled a lifelong love of the outdoors and respect for our environment. As a mother of three, I try to pass this on to my children, as I feel it is of great benefit to them.
I have a degree in Outdoor Education and Earth Science and work for Game, Fish, and Parks. I currently work on the Mickelson Trail in spring and summer, and snowmobile trails in the fall and winter. My duties on the Mickelson Trail range from maintenance to public relations and interpretive/naturalist programs. I love every aspect of the job, as it keeps me out in the beautiful hills and gives me a chance to bring environmental awareness to the community. I am trained in programs such as Project Learning Tree, Aldo Leopold Education Project, Project WET, and Project Wildm and am a certified Wilderness First Responder. My hobbies include, hiking, camping(especially backcountry), and photography.
Leave No Trace is something I have always believed in, even as a child, before I even knew what it was. It just made good sense to practice this ethic and be respectful of our natural environment, so it is here for many generations to enjoy. I hope to raise more awareness regarding Leave No Trace among the people of South Dakota and am very excited to be the State Advocate.

Tennessee

Christine Hoyer
Gatlinburg

I grew up in the Garden State and spent much of my childhood playing outside, exploring the wood as a Girl Scout and traveling to western National Parks on summer family vacations. Along my life's journey, I earned college degrees in Psychology and Philosophy and a Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management through the University of Montana. My passion for the outdoors initially became my career in 2005 as I set off to lead trail crews on the southern-third of the Appalachian Trail. That is where I received my first formal training in Leave No Trace. In 2008 I joined the ranks of the National Park Service and have had the privilege, since that point, to work within the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the Backcountry Management Specialist, I manage all aspects of the recreational experience (in a very high use park!) – trip planning/education, permitting, use levels/patterns, maintaining sites/structures in the backcountry and monitoring/mitigating impacts. A critical part of my role is to coordinate (and continue to grow) the park’s robust Leave No Trace efforts, through visitor contacts, training and outreach. To ensure that I had a solid foundation to manage the Leave No Trace efforts, I completed Master Educator courses in both the standard and stock-specific curriculum. As an avid hiker and backpacker, I am passionate about protecting resources (of all kinds – green-spaces, community parks, state parks, national parks) and feel a responsibility to connect people to these places and to do what I can to provide the information people need to make good, low-impact, decisions. I am excited to have the opportunity bring my background and skills into play to serve as the State Advocate for Tennessee. I look forward to being a resource and collaborating with trainers/educators, organizations and anyone with an interest to extend Leave No Trace efforts across the state!

Texas

Andre Houser and Robert Gates
Conroe

Andre Houser
HI! My name is Andre Houser, and I’m one of the two (count ‘em, two) Leave No Trace State Advocates in Texas. (Since everything is always bigger in Texas, we needed two advocates).

I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, where I learned to hunt, fish and roam the woods at an early age, and developed my love for things outdoors. I spent a few years in the Scouts, where I camped under what is now Beaver Lake, and spent summers at Camp Orr on the Buffalo National River.

I first learned of Leave No Trace in a Powder Horn course at Rancho El Cima in Texas. Charlie Thorpe was the Leave No Trace Consultant for that course. Shortly thereafter, I took a Trainer Course in Dallas’ Circle Ten Council, BSA. I wanted MORE, so I went to Philmont for my ME course, led by Dan Howells, Eric Hiser, Jim Karrol, and David Downing (Charlie Thorpe appeared somewhere in the middle). While there I was introduced to the magic of Brownies in an outback oven (Thanks Dan).

Since then I have served as co-Director of about 25 Leave No Trace Trainer courses, and have helped train about 250 Leave No Trace Trainers in Texas. I’m currently a member of the Sierra Club an am a certified Texas Master Naturalist.

My two sons are Eagle Scouts, and my daughter is a Girl Scout Silver. We love to camp, where I do most of the cooking in dutch ovens, my other passion (yes, I belong to LSDOS and IDOS), and meet regularly with a group of dutch oven folks for food, fun, and fellowship.

As one of your two State Advocates, I hope to keep up the good work of our predecessor and expand the program into the Texas Master Naturalist program and into the dutch oven cooking community. Since I am a municipal employee, I also hope to reach out to the parks and recreation departments in Texas, and help them realize the value of the Leave No Trace principles.
Feel free to contact me anytime with your ideas or if you have questions or need assistance.

Bob Gates
HI! My name is Bob Gates, and I’m the other one of the two (count ‘em, two) Leave No Trace State Advocates in Texas. (Since everything is always bigger in Texas, we needed two advocates). We have decided not to split this great State of ours rather to tag team the State to reach as many people as possible that way.

I grew up in Southern Illinois, near the Mississippi flyway and Shawnee National Forest with many State Parks within easy driving distance. Our family was always in the outdoors picnicking, hiking or camping in Southern Illinois and in every state east of the Mississippi. Learning to enjoy being comfortable roaming in the woods and playing in the creeks. When I started working out of college I got to take my first trip out West driving the long route to Seattle, then through many of the National Parks in Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas getting to work in many locations for 6 to 8 months at a time. Then a big move to Connecticut just off the edge of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Island Sound.

I took my Minimal Impact Camping Instructor course with the AMC (5 day program) in the 1980’s and learned more to improve my Backpacking, Climbing and Challenge Course instructor skills. David Bates, at the time with the National Boy Scouts office and responsible for the many BSA Outdoor Programs introduced me to Leave No Trace in the mid 1990;s. When the Boy Scouts were approved to be a provider of Leave No Trace Master Educator courses. I was a participant in the second BSA National Master Educator Course led by among others Ben Lawhon of the Center. During this time period I was also a co-instructor at the Philmont Training Center for an Outdoor Program course with the participants becoming not only Trek Leader Trained but also becoming Leave No Trace Trainers. WOW what a fun filled backpacking trip for a week with many late night “campfire” sessions learning and talking about Outdoor Ethics and Land Management.
Since then I have served as a co-Director of about 25 BSA Leave No Trace Trainer course (many with Andre Houser and Mel Tome), about 15 Leave No Trace Trainer courses with Texas City employees, ISD employees and church youth groups. Having helped train about 350 Leave No Trace Trainers. I have also been an instructor in a number of Leave No Trace Master Educator courses with the BSA and other providers. And have had the opportunity to provide Leave No Trace Awareness courses in my trips around much of the US, Canada, Mexico, Porto Rico and Costa Rica; plus with many School and Church youth groups.

My wife and I have helped coordinate Car Camping trips with the Sierra Club all around the great State of Texas. And have taken Scout and Church groups to many of our great State Parks, Refuge Management Areas, National Parks and Conservation areas. Rafting, climbing, hiking, backpacking and in Texas just plain old driving this great State.

My Outdoor Ethics Leave No Trace Objective is to reach out to as many of our citizens as possible to help them learn more of the Land Ethic. This maybe in our cities and more populated area in city parks and close in state parks. And out West in the vast areas were we might see a cow in a few square miles. In the Rio Grande Valley, along our Gulf Coastline, in the Panhandle and in the Piney Forests. And hopefully with our citizens in the Austin area and with those in the pink dome. As one of your two State Advocates, I hope to keep up the good work of our predecessor and expand our reach across the state.
Feel free to contact me anytime with your ideas or if you have questions or need assistance.

Utah

Craig Allen
Hooper

As the current Vice-Chairman and past Chairman of the Back Country Horsemen of Utah, I am dedicated to the education of the public, our members and public land managers on the proper use of pack and saddle stock on public land and I am an advocate for this use. I also support land managers by providing my time, talent and treasure to service projects that benefit all trail users and management organizations. As a result I have been asked to participate in several planning and policy meetings with local, state and federal managers to provide the equestrian point of view. Back Country Horsemen of America and Back Country Horsemen of Utah have adopted LNT as our outdoor ethic.

During 2007, BCHA selected me to attend the BCHA Sponsored Leave No Trace Master Educator Course and since then I have participated in several Instructor certification events as well as awareness clinics annually. I have also ensured that LNT is a part of every BCHU booth display and pack clinic. I have maintained continuous membership and certification as well as sponsoring BCHU as an LNT partner.

In addition to trail riding, packing and playing with horses, I am an avid hiker, snowshoer, have done some trail running, and try to use my bicycle instead of my car whenever possible.

I live in Hooper, Utah with my wife Connie, 3 cats, 1 dog, 3 horses and 2 mules. I grew up overseas as an “Air Force brat” and joined the USAF after graduation from the University of Oklahoma. I am a retired USAF officer and a retired Program Director for Northrop Grumman Technical Systems in Clearfield, Utah, where I was Director of the ICBM Sustainment Program and got to lead “rocket scientists.” I am also the current Chairman of the Utah Recreational Trail Advisory Committee.

Virginia

David Lauthers
Newport News

Greetings everybody! I am very excited to be Virginia’s new State Advocate. I live in Newport News, Virginia and I am retired Navy Chief and I have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for the past 6 years. My 15 year old son is also a Leave No Trace Trainer.
My first introduction to Leave No Trace was in April 2009 when I took the Leave No Trace Trainer Class in Shenandoah National Park. In May 2011 I took the Leave No Trace Master Educators Course. I have taught Leave No Trace awareness classes at numerous Scouting events and at the shipyard where I work. In March of 2012 I became the Colonial Virginia Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate and have been getting as many youth and adult scouters involved in conservation programs and passing on my knowledge of Leave No Trace. I have organized and taught two Leave No Trace Trainer courses and assisted teaching a Trainer Course in the Raleigh NC Council.
My first goal is to contact all the Trainers and Master Educators In the state and see where they all stand. Are they actively involved, are they teaching and sharing their knowledge, do they need some assistance, and what has worked for them and what hasn’t. What other outdoor groups are they working with that may benefit other trainers in the state. I feel that reaching out to our youth; inside or outside of Scouting is the best way to promote Outdoor Ethics in our communities and to help preserve our great land for future generations.
I encourage anyone in Virginia with an interest in environmental stewardship, responsible outdoor recreation or strengthening the connection between people & nature to contact me.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. - Edward Abbey

Washington

Mehgan Herold
Lopez Island

My name is Mehgan Herold and I have a deep love for educating people and their pets on responsible outdoor ethics! An Ohio native, I moved to Washington to pursue a career with Washington State Parks. I am fortunate enough to work as a Senior Park Aide at Spencer Spit State Park, on Lopez Island. As soon as I landed on Lopez, I fell in love with its natural beauty. Orcas, Bald eagles, beaches, crabs, bio luminescence, it filled my heart with wonder and awe. As I discovered new areas of Washington, it became clear to me that this state was unmatched in its environmental diversity. It made me question how can I do my part to protect these unique places. The answer was with Leave No Trace! It all began with an awareness workshop that was conducted by traveling trainers and has grown into my current position as the Leave No Trace Advocate for Washington State. I enjoy teaching the P.E.A.K program as a Junior Ranger activity in the park. I also love hiking, kayaking, backpacking, cycling, sailing, and adventuring with my dog, Toto. I hope to spread the Leave No Trace love throughout the state of Washington and beyond! Please reach out to me if you are interested in bringing Leave No Trace into your community, work, life or heart.

Wyoming

Sara Kirol
Sheridan

I grew up on my family’s small cattle ranch in southern Wyoming. There, I first gained an appreciation for the outdoors through my parents and grandparents. After graduating with a double major in biology and environmental science from Rocky Mountain College in Montana, I worked as an environmental educator/naturalist. This work took me to Wisconsin (where I was first introduced to Leave No Trace) and South Carolina before returning to school. Shortly after graduating from the University of Wyoming with a MS in recreation and park administration, I began working for the Forest Service. My husband, daughter and I now call Sheridan home where we base our explorations of Wyoming’s beautiful outdoors. I am very excited about LNT and would love to share information, activities and materials with you. Hope to hear from you soon!

Valladolid

David Lauthers
Newport News

Greetings everybody! I am very excited to be Virginia’s new State Advocate. I live in Newport News, Virginia and I am retired Navy Chief and I have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for the past 6 years. My 15 year old son is also a Leave No Trace Trainer.
My first introduction to Leave No Trace was in April 2009 when I took the Leave No Trace Trainer Class in Shenandoah National Park. In May 2011 I took the Leave No Trace Master Educators Course. I have taught Leave No Trace awareness classes at numerous Scouting events and at the shipyard where I work. In March of 2012 I became the Colonial Virginia Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate and have been getting as many youth and adult scouters involved in conservation programs and passing on my knowledge of Leave No Trace. I have organized and taught two Leave No Trace Trainer courses and assisted teaching a Trainer Course in the Raleigh NC Council.
My first goal is to contact all the Trainers and Master Educators In the state and see where they all stand. Are they actively involved, are they teaching and sharing their knowledge, do they need some assistance, and what has worked for them and what hasn’t. What other outdoor groups are they working with that may benefit other trainers in the state. I feel that reaching out to our youth; inside or outside of Scouting is the best way to promote Outdoor Ethics in our communities and to help preserve our great land for future generations.
I encourage anyone in Virginia with an interest in environmental stewardship, responsible outdoor recreation or strengthening the connection between people & nature to contact me.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. - Edward Abbey